April 4th, 2012
Reflection Paper 2
For the past couple weeks, Alizey, Kesha and I have been visiting our refugee family. Although we have only visited a couple times, I have already learned so much about refugee life. For instance, the main obstacle we faced with our family is communication. It was awfully difficult to both understand and convey our thoughts to them. Especially for me, there was times where I was just sitting there clue less of what was happening. We did manage to communicate with them, The two children spoke a bit of Nepali, and luckily Alizey did too. Additionally, Kesha had a friend who successfully translated for us and informed them why we were there.
The first couple times was really awkward. Like I mentioned, we could not really communicate with the family. They welcomed us in, we sat on the couches and just stared at each other for about ten minutes. Finally the seemed to go about their business and there was times when all three of us were sitting alone. This persisted for the next couple visits. Two visits ago, Kesha and I went, to our surprise only the father was there. Like usual, we sat down and attempted to communicate with him, but he would not seem to budge. Finally I mentioned to Kesha that I didn’t feel welcomed at the home. She felt the same, so we decided to return at a different time. I wasn’t sure what made the father so uncomfortable, for we said about five words to him. I remembered that someone in class mentioned that the father in their family seemed to avoid them, Perhaps because his masculinity was being challenged in the presence of the students. I believed that was what the father of our household felt, for he had interacted the least with us of everyone. So we just let It be and returned the next week.
Last week seemed to be the first time I enjoyed being with them. We arrived and asked if any of the children had homework, to our surprise it was all done. Kesha suggested we play a game with them and so we did. The two children had a couple of their friends over so all eight of us played a game where we said things about ourselves. It was so much fun, we learned a lot about each other such as likes and dislikes. Later the father came home from buying groceries, and they gave each of us a container with fruit and an Arizona. They even offered us Chai Tea. That, I believe was the first moment we bonded. We agreed to take them to the park this Wednesday.
So far my refugee experience has been an odd one. Needless to say, we did manage to create a bond with the kids, and even got the father to laugh a little. The most difficult thing, Kesha, Alizey and I faced was finding a set day to visit them. Each of us have such complex schedules it almost seemed impossible to schedule a visit. We manage to somehow figure it out though and I believe we will be visiting them frequently.